News & Politics

2013 Green Inaugural Ball

Political players and environmental advocates mingled and celebrated Obama’s second inauguration at the Newseum.

The 2013 Green Inaugural Ball at the Newseum. Photographs by Chris Campbell.

There was no shortage of politicos to help power the festivities at the 2013 Green Inaugural Ball. And you know what kind of event and crowd you have collected when Bill Nye the Science Guy gets as loud a reception as The environmentally conscious partygoers who packed every floor of the Newseum in search of something more meaningful than just another glass of Champagne were rewarded when Vice President Joe Biden appeared for a brief visit. He received loud ovations when he told the crowd that dealing with climate change would be a priority for the Obama administration’s second term.

Throughout the evening, conversations were just as likely to be about fighting global warming as about who made the gown someone was wearing. Those who came for the party and not the politics were not disappointed in the least. Revelers were seen taking advantage of the Newseum’s photo booths and staging their own faux news reports at the NBC News Interactive Newsroom (because nothing says reporting live from a fake hurricane like doing so in a tuxedo or a ball gown).

The journey from the lower level to the VIP suites up top was all the more enjoyable because each of the three main glass elevators featured its own bar. The signature cocktail of the evening was the OM-bama, a sweet and dangerous drink that packed a lot of flavor and punch into the mini Mason jars it was served in. The culinary offerings made a pitch to be more memorable than the celebs who took the stage. The menu was overseen by the crew from the Source, Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant within the Newseum itself. That restaurant’s signature Kobe beef sliders and sesame miso cones with Carolina yellowfin tuna tartar paired nicely with sushi rolls, butternut squash soup shooters, and a host of other passed hors d’oeuvres. Those in the main VIP lounge were treated to a delicious raw bar of sustainable seafood, courtesy of Choptank Oyster Company in Cambridge, Maryland. Piles of lobsters, crabs, clams, and oysters were on offer, and guests took a load off on custom benches made from recycled wood and the doors from pickup truck beds.

A host of political players on hand at the ball included congressman Jared Schutz Polis of Colorado, with his son Caspian Julian, and partner Marlon Reis. Also appearing were Minnesota senator Al Franken and Ohio representative Dennis Kucinich with his wife, Elizabeth.
Among the celebrities in attendance were singer Nicholas David of NBC’s The Voice, Miss District of Columbia 2012, Sarah Hillware, and actor Tate Donovan.
A tray of OM-bama cocktails, which partygoers could enjoy aboard one of the three main elevators equipped with bars.
A bed of sustainably sourced seafood, featuring oysters from Choptank Oyster Company.